The importance of workplace management

Workplace management has been overturned — uprooted by the influx of hybrid workspaces. Companies are being faced with new challenges, adapting their office spaces through trial and error. It’s been decades since the world was so unsure about how companies should operate. Where are our star charts? Where are the studies we’ve relied on for so long? We’ve entered uncharted territory with little to no clues. Yet, after two years, we’ve learned some things. Let’s have a look.

What is workplace management?

Before we begin, let’s have a look at what workplace management entails. Successful workplace management improves space utilization and the efficiency of an office, how cost-effective it is, and how productive employees are within the space. There are numerous cogs in workplace management. Each of these cogs needs to run smoothly and effectively, lest they hold up the wheel. Workplace management includes everything from IT assigning computers to your receptionist stocking the coffee maker.

Why workplace management is important

The challenge isn’t how to sustain a space — it’s how to optimize it. Workplace management isn’t about achieving the bare minimum, it’s about making an office environment as facilitating as possible, helping employees get their jobs done with little to no hiccups involved.

Successful workplace management has been known to

  • Improve productivity

  • Increase employee satisfaction

  • Lower operational costs

Despite our uncertainty in this new era of flexible work, there are incredible workplace management tricks and solutions on the rise. Managing flexible workplaces is becoming easier and easier — with the right systems in place.

Workplace management solutions

Successful workplace management is comprised of a mixture of technology and execution. Technology alone can’t solve your problem just as determination and ground rules can’t. The first step is finding out what you need. This step involves some internal investigation. Next, is the execution. Lastly: repeat. The process is neverending as companies learn how to improve, listen, react, and then process the results. Below are some key elements that can help make any workplace thrive.

Space planning

This step isn’t so much a “solution” as it is a tip. Every office manager is well aware that planning is a part of managing. However, many are missing one key ingredient in their decision-making: employee feedback. It’s impossible to configure the best space for employees without listening to what they need or want in their workplace. Before hiring an interior designer, do something the designer can’t: gather employee feedback. Use a survey tool like Survey Monkey, Microsoft Forms, Google Forms, or another easily accessible platform. What’s more, continually collect regular feedback so you can learn what systems and resources are working and which aren't. As you’ll learn in the next sections, a user-centric workplace strategy is key to building the optimal office experience.

Room management

Most offices have three particular types of spaces:

  • Common areas

  • Meeting rooms

  • General desk space

Common areas are free-for-all physical spaces, whereas meeting rooms are, more often than not, bookable. They require an in-house system to be truly effective. Unfortunately, most meetings aren’t as productive as they could be. Without an effective room management system in place, meeting rooms are plagued by no-shows, overrun meetings, and room squatters. No-show meetings waste valuable real estate; overrun meetings cut into other teams’ time; and room squatters just waste everyone’s time, including their own. Teams can be thrown off by unexpected meeting room complications, quelling what could have been a productive team meeting. Incredibly, the best meeting room booking systems all but eliminate no-shows, overrun meetings, and squatters. For example, let’s have a look at the Joan meeting room booking system:

No shows. Joan touchscreen ePaper displays have a check-in feature. When a meeting begins, an employee can check-in directly from Joan. If they don’t check in within a set time, the meeting room changes from “reserved” to “available,” freeing the space for any teams in need.

Overrun meetings. The room’s schedule is displayed in real-time on the Joan device. Therefore, teams can check if there’s a meeting immediately after theirs. This awareness encourages teams to vacate the meeting room on time, significantly reducing the number of overrun meetings.

Squatters. Most squatters are comprised of ad-hock meetups — people who hopped into the closest empty meeting room. Little do they know that there’s a meeting scheduled within minutes of when they squatted. With Joan meeting room displays, the room schedule is displayed right outside of the meeting room, helping squatters track down available spaces and keeping them from overlapping scheduled meetings.

Bonus: With Joan, room squatters can book a room directly on-site from the room’s ePaper touchscreen, mitigating meeting interruptions.

Joan meeting room booking tools drastically cut back on room confusion, gifting employees more time and bandwidth to focus on their projects.

Desk booking

With so many companies transitioning toward hybrid workspaces, many of them are abandoning designated desks in favor of desk hotelling. In these cases, the absence of a booking solution can have more severe repercussions than meeting rooms without a meeting room booking system. Without a booking solution in place, every employee has to meander the office in search of an available workspace every single day they work onsite. This process can take minutes on end, making a rocky start to everyone’s morning.

With a robust desk booking system in place, employees can reserve a workstation on the go before even arriving at the office. For example, consider the Joan desk booking solution. The intuitive user interface makes onboarding a breeze. The app seamlessly cuts back on wasted time by guaranteeing each employee a workstation. The in-app floor plans help employees track down their workstation on site.

Get a taste of how much time your teams can save by signing up for a free 30-day trial.

Joan desk

Analytics

All office restructuring should be accompanied by a wealth of analytics tools. Any and all data you scrounge up can be pivotal to determining your next steps. Analytics can be something as simple as results from your employee survey. For example, in a company survey, employees may record that they’d prefer more natural daylight in the office. After six months of open blinds and blaring natural daylight, employees may state they’d prefer less daylight after all. Fast forward two more years, you might even realize there’s a trend: employees prefer more natural light in the winter months and less in the summer. The easiest way to gather analytics is through your office facility management software.

Let’s have a look at Joan analytics and the data Joan solutions collect. The data is powerful when determining which rooms are used most, which types of rooms are used most, the teams that use each room the most, how many rooms are filled to maximum occupancy, and how many are used well under capacity. This type of data can drive effective workplace management, helping office managers understand which types of spaces are wasted corporate real estate and how to improve space allocation. If huddle rooms are more popular than meeting rooms then split the meeting rooms in two. If the conference rooms are often booked by a single person, find out why. Is it the technology? The location? The bottom line is, analytics are crucial for the final step of workplace management: repeat. Collect the data and repeat your assessment, making new changes and managing the office differently to optimize the workplace.

Office safety

One last tidbit of advice is to invest in out-of-the-way, easy-to-use intuitive security solutions. With 2022 seeing an increasing number of companies reopening their offices, there are still some health concerns in the air. Literally. Many employees are leery of returning to the office and working amidst dozens to hundreds of other people. Help alleviate fears and concerns by implementing reliable security protocols with a visitor check-in solution. For example, Joan offers a free visitor check-in tool. With this solution, companies can set up custom questionnaires that digitally collect data from every visitor. The visitor check-in solution can also administer health or security questionnaires, making the office safer than ever.

Start by taking 6 steps

Now that you have a list of the best workplace management tools, how do you implement them? Start by following these six steps:

  1. Set your workplace goals. Know what you want to achieve in the workplace. Will it be a collaboration hub? A space for desk hotelling? Will workstations be flexible or rigid?

  2. Assess the workplace. Consider what you have to work with — your space inventory. Is there enough square footage? Is there too much? What framework does the office have now?

  3. Gather employee feedback. Before you dive into your great ideas, find out if the users actually agree. Most companies have surveyed their employees to find out if they want to return to the office — not many have asked how employees want their return-to-office experience. Don’t make the same mistake.

  4. Invest in tools. When it comes to analytics, technology is your greatest resource. Not only can the right workplace management software save your teams time and unnecessary stress, but it can also track the statistics you need to reassess and improve the workplace.

  5. Monitor analytics. Once you’ve collected analytics, whether they’re from an employee survey or room booking solution, review the data and…

  6. Repeat. With new data come new insights. These insights push companies to new heights, which is pivotal to navigating new, hybrid work models.

There you have it: a recipe for workplace management. The best-integrated systems can push your company the extra mile, increasing productivity throughout the office.

Reach out to us for more information about how Joan solutions can elevate your office transformation. 

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